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Has anyone had a fairly recent ACL reconstruction (knee)?

(10 Posts)
docket Sat 23-Jul-11 11:49:01


I had one of these nearly 20 years ago when I was very young and childless. Now I am neither very young nor childless and as the first one has now failed, have to have it done again in October.

The consultant told me that the way they do the procedure now means it won't be 'as bad' as last time but that the recovery period is still quite extended. I've looked online but all the literature relates to sport rather than real life - in my case 3 DC, 2 at school, live at top of big hill, little one in the buggy.

If anyone could shed any light on their experience I'd really appreciate it. Obviously it's probably a long shot....!

ILoveUMama Sun 24-Jul-11 08:16:39

I have 2 little boys 3yrs and 1 year and am going in for knee replacement in November. Luckly I have family and friends to help me with my boys while I recover and my job is in a preschool which is closed alot during Nov-Dec for holidays so they are ok with me taking medical leave.

I don't know if your situation is that lucky, but surely there is someone who can come help with the children family member, friend, church member, volunteer. Are your older DS in school old enough to help look after each other and the little one a bit to help you out?

Unfortunately knee replacements only last so many years and then need to be replaced. This is the first for me so I have done alot of research and there is nothing else except physical therapy and cortisone shots which only do so much. I'll be thinking about you and hope your surgery goes well if you get it.

It is good to know I am not alone with having a severe medical issue to juggle along with the responsibility of being a mum.

AlsoAvailableSober Sun 24-Jul-11 08:25:30

I had one done 6 years ago, but it was quite a radical treatment at the time as a sports surgeon was pioneering accelerated recovery times. I was up 24hrs after the op and doing and stayed 2 nights in hosital. I also came home with no crutches IIRC. I can't recall timescales exactly but I think I was driving after 4 weeks. I had intensive physio and pilates 3 times a week and that was the most difficult for me to actually get there and no family around.

Good luck and if you have any other Q's I will try and answer them. smile

docket Mon 25-Jul-11 18:49:10

Wow, thank you both, I really wasn't expecting anyone to reply!

I wish you well with your op ILUM.

I'm going to go and see a physio and see if I can get some exercises to do pre op, my quads aren't up to much as it is.

AAS, someone else told me pilates was good for it so that's good to hear. It's amazing you came home without crutches. Were you hobbling around? In a lot of pain

Thank you!

WillbeanChariot Mon 25-Jul-11 18:57:22

Hi docket. I have had it done about five years ago and my graft has also failed. Is it affecting you so badly that you need it done? I'm not getting mine redone. It is by no means perfect and it does bother me, but not enough to go through the aggro of getting it done again. I can play sports etc anyway and I'm going to work on the muscles around it which my consultant thinks will help. Is that an option for you?

docket Mon 25-Jul-11 19:02:53

Hello WillbeanChariot. My brother in law who is a GP was quite negative about the operation as he says they often fail and generally don't last long and suggested I investigate the non-op route. I'd certainly be interested in looking at it, it's just that at the moment it really is bad, slips out a lot and I have had a couple of falls too. I really hate feeling this unsteady (especially as my youngest DC is only 19months and I still carry him a fair bit). Are you very sporty? I am wondering whether you have better baseline muscles than me?! I am quite weedy...

AlsoAvailableSober Mon 25-Jul-11 21:53:12

If you have a look here is the websit of the surgeon who did my op. The first document gives an excellent overview of the accelerated recovery programme i followed, which says driving in 2-4 weeks. it also gives the types of exercise you can tackle at each stage.
I do think you need to discuss the recovery programme with your surgeon as i know my friend was braced for 6 weeks (albeit that was about 5yrs prior to my op). I cannot recall my pain levels but i think i was more sore than in pain. The exercises were all perfectly do-able.
I currently run, do circuits and play tennis on mine and it is fine, however i still do pilates to properly us my core and specific weights exercises for the glutes and quads to ensure other parts of my body take the strain rather than my knees.

Sparkles23 Mon 25-Jul-11 22:19:49

My husband had a knee reconstruction op a month ago, he dislocated his knee playing rugby back in Nov. They reconstructed his PCL, MCL and I think ACL, basically complete reconstruction using his patellar tendon and hamstrings and they did bone plugs too, did about as much damage as you can do! He was in surgery for 7h and was in hospital for 3/4 nights. Started physio and exercises pretty much immediately and will be going weekly for about a year, started driving last week (automatic car though so no left leg needed!). On crutches and In leg brace for about another month and elevating it/ resting it as much as poss when sat down though went back to work last week - elevates it in office! Also starting to put weight on it whilst indoors. The scar is about 6 inches long and is healing v v well. Anyway all in all surgery v successful and recovering brilliantly and this is an extreme case!

WillbeanChariot Tue 26-Jul-11 14:25:05

Hi again, I am quite sporty (snapped my ACL playing rugby) but I'm a bit overweight and certainly not superfit. I am back playing rugby now. I had a few problems with locking/slipping out a couple of years ago which seems to have settled since I had some cartilage removed. I get a bit of pain and stiffness now and there are certain things I can't do (sitting on my heels, crouching for long periods) but it's mainly fine. I have worked quite hard on my quads and hamstrings but the hamstring the graft came from is still weak. With hindsight I would not have had it done the first time.

When I had my op I was off work for three weeks (signed off for five but I was fine) and on crutches for about a fortnight. I can imagine it would be pretty tough with a toddler.

Could you brace it for the time being? It must be frightening if it is very unstable.

docket Tue 26-Jul-11 20:41:01

Thanks a lot for your replies, very interesting and I've had a good look around that site AAS. I have got an appointment with a physio on monday so I'll see if she thinks there is any way out of the operation or possibly give me some exercises to do to help me prepare if that isn't an option. I'll ask her about strapping it up as well.

Thanks again, I really didn't expect any response to this!

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